ZenZui, a new company formed by former Microsoft researchers and others, promises a slicker, quicker way to access and interact with Web content. However, it is limited to sites that buy into the company's technology and business models. Everything must be written using ZenZui's proprietary markup language and all content must be synchronized through ZenZui's servers using ZenZui's synchronization architecture. ZenZui cofounder John SanGiovanni, who helped develop some of the design and interface concepts involved in ZenZui while working at Microsoft Research, noted that everything is hosted by ZenZui's data centre. Microsoft maintains a minority interest in the company and has assigned some of the relevant Microsoft Research patents to the company.
People who download the free ZenZui application when it ships later this year will be able to customize their experience by choosing a lineup of "tiles", each from a different ZenZui partner site. In the prototype version, the default Zone View shows 4 tiles, but the full ZenZui ZoomSpace consists of 16 tiles. Every tile has options specific to the partnered site. Navigation between tiles and to content is done by zooming in and out using the phone's keypad. The goal of ZenZui is primarily to help sites monetize their content by making it easier for people to access that content from cell phones. Content providers and site operators can strike deals that either depend on transactions or advertising. ZenZui officials say they will provide for some public service announcements in lieu of ads for worthy sites.
ZenZui is being announced at the CTIA Wireless 2007 show, but is currently only in alpha trial with "100 friendly users" on Windows Mobile devices. An invitation-only beta pilot is planned to begin this summer, concurrent with the launch of a Java version of the service – BREW support is expected to be available later in the year.